Forward progress in business, as in life, often finds us standing at a crossroads or, scarier still, looking over a ledge into the unknown.
What’s the next best step?
Will the new session idea/marketing scheme/business process really work and what if it doesn’t?
Today’s guest, Kimberly Wylie is no stranger to ledges. She’s thrown herself off a few in her time and joins me to talk about ledges, business and making decisions literally from the heart.
Kimberly made sweeping changes to her business during a time when most onlookers would have thought her CRAZY for doing so.
She had all the markers of “success”.
A big, beautiful studio.
Lots of employees.
Lots of clients.
She was working non-stop.
But something felt wrong. She was missing time with her family, time to even eat (time to even go to the bathroom some days!).
Coming from a background in finance, Kimberly had always believed that more, more, more was the ultimate goal. But it wasn’t sustainable. She was forced to challenge her assumptions about the business of photography. To ask the question,
“Is it possible to actually do less and make the same, or even more money?”
In order to stay true to who she was and the business she really wanted to run, Kimberly jumped off the ledge- cutting her sessions from 400 a year to 125 and transforming her business into a low-volume, luxury portrait studio.
In today’s episode, we discuss it all. The fear, the doing-it-anyway, the results and what we’ve learned along the way.
[01:27] What it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
[03:55] Kim’s professional background, and where her photography journey began.
[06:44] Feelings that Kim struggled with when she started her photography business.
[08:26] How you should and shouldn’t go about determining your prices.
[12:03] The ledges that Kim had to jump off in order to build the business and the life that she really wanted.
[14:43] Two key benchmarks that you should be looking at when pricing your work.
[15:51] What Kim’s life looked like for the first few years after she started her photography business.
[17:13] The moment that Kim realized she had to make some serious changes.
[20:17] Kim explains the process that she went through to recreate her business so that it aligns with what matters to her.
[22:24] The value of letting the little things go.
[28:37] Factors that motivated Kim to overcome her fears and transform her business from volume-based to luxury-based.
[31:28] How Kim and her partner cut costs when she made the decision to change her business model.
[37:23] The strategy Kim utilized in order to decide how many sessions she was going to do per year, and the life-changing success that came as a result.
[41:32] Important realizations that Kim had about profitable versus non-profitable clients.
[46:09] Changes that Kim made to her session and design fees.
[48:02] How Kim defines her style of work, and the similarities and differences between our styles.
[52:57] Advice from Kim for figuring out who you are as an artist.
[56:55] How Kim categorizes her clients, and how these lists changed when she changed her business.
[1:00:01] Benefits of implementing a compulsory upfront cost.
[1:01:40] The importance of communicating changes to your clients.
[1:03:12] How Kim knew she had made the right decision to make the changes that she did.
[1:04:23] One of the biggest mistakes that human beings make.
[1:06:52] How Kim’s average sale price increased when she changed her business model.
[1:07:38] Words of encouragement from Kim and I for anyone who needs a push off their ledge!
Links and Resources:
Do The ReWork
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Allison Tyler Jones
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